Anti-Aliasing: An In-Depth Look
11:10 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story
A link on Blue's News led us to this fascinating article on FullOn3D.com which provides an in-depth look at "The Theory of Antialiasing," a technique used from the early days of computing to increase image quality and simulate higher-resolution graphics rendering. Anti-aliasing itself is as old as the computer monitor; even the early days of computing used AA techniques to simulate resolutions beyond what the first crude displays were able to achieve. Now AA (known variously as Full-Scene Anti-Aliasing and High-Resolution Anti-Aliasing) has become one of the key buzzword features for 3D graphics cards. Those with 3dfx Voodoo5 cards already know the joys (and the performance cost) of FSAA, but you still might find this look behind the pixels to be both informative and entertaining. Meanwhile those looking forward to NVIDIA's GeForce3 chipset, already released for the PC and due quite soon for the Mac platform, can read a detailed analysis of the new techniques NVIDIA uses (multisampling and "Quincunx" AA) to maximize image quality while avoiding the brutal performance hit that supersampling cards (such as the 3dfx series) encountered.
"The Theory of Antialiasing" at FullOn3D.com
The article is well-balanced between techspeak and common-sense explanations, and includes interactive examples of various techniques and their result. One caveat: we reccomend Internet Explorer 5 for viewing the article, as it does use embedded .PNG images. Modem users should also be prepared to wait for these images to load (particularly page 3). Nevertheless, if you were ever interested in just what the heck AA is and how it works, this is an excellent discussion of many sides of the issue.
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